About Us




Company History

The Button Emporium first opened its doors in the heart of downtown Portland in March of 1997.  It all started a few years before that when Marvis purchased a ceramic pin patterned from a 19th century picture button and she started to become interested in antique buttons. This interest eventually grew into a mail order business that specialized in artisan buttons made of silver, gemstones, pewter, and porcelain. Customers at shows and conventions made so many requests for an actual storefront that owners Keith and Marvis decided to take the plunge and open an actual store.

Within six months, The Button Emporium had outgrown its original storefront on SW 11th Avenue, so the adjoining space was acquired as well. The store remained there until February of 2009, when it moved to its present location at 1016 SW Taylor, which is in the same building and around the block from the original location. The current retail space offers the same size as the original store, but also has taller ceilings and windows, which offer more light and a much more open and airy feeling.

Now in its twentieth year of operation, The Button Emporium & Ribbonry continues with the same core values it opened with: to provide customers with quality products at a fair price while providing them with an old-fashioned level of customer service you no longer find in large chain stores.



There are literally thousands of different buttons to choose from at The Button Emporium; we have over 150 shapes and styles of mother of pearl and shell buttons alone. You’ll also find antique buttons, post-WWII Czech and German glass, and a whole range of buttons vintage to modern in metals, plastic, bone, leather, wood, and other natural materials. Whether you’re doing heirloom sewing, recreating historic clothing, giving fine clothing an extra special touch, or are looking for the perfect button to finish your latest knitted or crocheted creation, we’ll have a button for you!


Ribbon And Trim

We have gorgeous French jacquards (many no longer available even in Europe or New York) and wired ribbons, grosgrains and petershams, luscious hand dyed bias cut silk, satins and silk satins, organza, moiré, velvet, and even cotton sateen. There are many colors and patterns available, so if you’re sewing, crafting, or even just wrapping packages, we should have the perfect fit for your project. And if it’s not ribbon you’re after, our stock of trims also includes cording, braids, twill tape, seam binding, beaded trims, appliqués, fine laces, and more.


Embroidery Threads And Ribbons

In addition to carrying an assortment of silk ribbons for silk ribbon embroidery, we also offer a selection of embroidery flosses. We do not regularly stock or carry any other needlepoint supplies, however.



We do not offer a printed catalog. If you are looking for a particular item, please contact us and include as much information about it as possible. The color, size, shape, manufacturer, and item number, if known, will better assist us in serving you. We will research your request and let you know the results.

Last Updated on March 19, 2015